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How the New Normal ushers in global healthcare collaboration

Many questions remain unanswered about the New Normal scenario post the pandemic situation. Numbers are thrown about and theories abound. The pandemic has caused cataclysmic changes in our world and a tumultuous upheaval across industries. Global healthcare, of course, has been the focus over the last couple of years.

While significant advances were expected in healthcare, no one could have predicted the rapid transformation of the industry. Globally, the response of the healthcare industry has been rapid and collaborative. Quick changes to policies and procedures, faster adoptions of medicines and treatment, with timelines moving from years to weeks and even days, quick turnarounds in research and development, sidestepping administrative red tape and bringing innovative solutions to market quickly - all of these have been brought about to meet a common agenda, which is to help communities and save lives.

Undoubtedly, the healthcare industry has demonstrated resilience and agility, focusing on simple solutions to complex problems, with an extraordinary pace of innovation. The pandemic has accelerated development in both medicine and technology, and triggered reinvention across many sectors in healthcare.


Why is collaboration important?

The world has encountered pandemics and widespread infectious diseases earlier, which have demonstrated that nations only stand to benefit from collaborative efforts to stop the spread of disease. COVID-19 has shown how interdependent the world is. Nation-wide lockdowns and closing of borders have had a far-reaching impact on the physical, mental, and economic well-being of populations. 

International collaboration in healthcare becomes of paramount importance. This is because:

  1. Nations are closely connected, resulting in rapid spread diseases, bringing the realisation that every disease needs to be eradicated across the globe and not just in one country. This is evidenced by the fact that the SARS COV-2 virus continues to mutate, and its variants are still spreading across the globe.

  2. Organisations across the world now know that sharing of both knowledge and experience is beneficial to achieve faster learning and progress. A common pool of resources helps in prevention and treatment. Such sharing especially helps countries that lack surveillance infrastructure.

  3. Creating world-wide standards helps put in place a framework for comparing information and best practises, as well as building mutual understanding and trust.

In the healthcare industry, companies have realised that it is not possible to do it all alone. Global partnerships to facilitate both medicine and vaccine development and distribution are on the rise, while simultaneously providing solutions for faster and efficient patient care, as well as equipment and guidance for healthcare workers.


Digital transformation accelerates healthcare

International cooperation and collaboration assume supreme importance when dealing with any disease. While the pandemic resulted in millions of deaths, it is firmly believed that vaccinations have reduced the severity of the disease and mortality too. Global vaccinations have crossed 10.3 billion across 184 countries.

A slew of worldwide initiatives started at the beginning of the pandemic, many of which have helped countries handle grave healthcare emergencies. The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched global funding efforts, standardised vaccine approvals and launched the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which is a global collaboration to fast-track development of diagnostic tests, treatment, and vaccines. The global research community has collaborated across disciplines - academic, industry, research, and professional groups. There has been exchange of data and information on laboratory and surveillance, genome sequencing, and clinical outcomes. Technology has played a major role in pandemic response and management and knowledge sharing.

Healthcare has undergone a robust digital revolution during COVID-19. Information and data exchange platforms are vital to control the spread of any epidemic disease. Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) and telemedicine have emerged as gamechangers. Cloud-based systems facilitate easy sharing of data and information across the globe. AI and ML help mine big data to help understand trends and predict future outbreaks. Some of the areas where technology has proven to be indispensable include:

  • Bioinformatics systems for drug discovery and genome sequencing
  • Decision Support Systems for triaging, risk assessment and managing healthcare supply chains
  • Robotics to aid health workers
  • Online interactive dashboards
  • IoT for real-time monitoring and tracking by use of sensors and surveillance systems. 

Data intelligence and data analytics platforms are going to be imperative for future pandemics, with regard to predictions and response, as well as management.

While the global healthcare industry underwent an abrupt digital transformation due to COVID-19, the future is here, now. Digital platforms built on robust technology are going to be essential to the healthcare industry to provide agile, flexible, sentient, collaborative, and predictive solutions in a dynamically changing environment.* The pandemic has brought about the awareness that global collaboration across multiple disciplines is required for a safer world.

* For organizations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organizational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organisations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organizations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.